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Learning About Modern Construction Practices

Hello, my name is Chris Rogers. Welcome to my website about modern construction practices. Through the decades, the process of erecting a large-scale building has changed in many ways. Construction professionals have much more access to helpful, purpose-built tools that get the job done faster than ever. Construction experts also utilize huge pieces of machinery to move dirt, place materials and perform other important actions on the job. I welcome you to visit my site daily to learn all you can about modern construction techniques. Once you have this knowledge by your side, you will have the opportunity to marvel at the cityscape sitting before you. Thanks.

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Learning About Modern Construction Practices

Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Asphalt

by Celina Simpson

Asphalt is everywhere. It's used to provide roofing materials, roadways, parking lots, airport runways and outdoor basketball courts. Even though nearly everyone uses asphalt daily in some way, most people don't know too much about it. Did you know that asphalt can be found in large quantities in several lakes? Here are a few other fun facts you probably don't know about asphalt.

Asphalt Is the Oldest Engineering Material

Asphalt has been used for thousands of years. It is said to be man's oldest engineering material. In Mesopotamia, the Sumerians used bitumen as a glue in their sculptures almost 3000 years BC. Bitumen is another word for asphalt. It was found to have waterproofing capabilities. This led it to be used on the bottom of ships to keep water out. It's believed to have been used on the bottom of Moses' basket to keep him dry.

The waterproofing capability, combined with the glue-like consistency, is why it was used by King Nebuchadnezzar in 600 BC to rebuild the city wall. He used asphalt in the wall construction to keep the Euphrates River from ruining the city of Babylon. In the 19th century, asphalt started being used for roadways due to the problem of dust being kicked up by horses.

Asphalt Is the Most Recycled Material

In the United States, 62.1 million tons of asphalt roadways were built with recycled asphalt in 2010. This makes it the most recycled material in the United States, not paper, plastic or aluminum. Some of the recycled asphalt comes from roofing shingles. In fact, 7-10 million tons of asphalt shingles are removed from roofs annually, and some of it gets recycled for roadways. Old roadways are also recycled.

To recycle asphalt, whether from roofing shingles or old roadways, the materials are ground down to pieces that are several inches. The best time to do this is when the asphalt is brittle, which is when it is cold. Then, the pieces are cleaned and refined until the aggregate meets state-regulated gradation requirements. Recycled asphalt is used alone or as an additive, especially for purposes of repairing asphalt paving.

Asphalt Is Not a Solid

Most people believe asphalt is a liquid, but it's really a solid. During World War II, in 1944, a physicist wanted to find out if asphalt is a solid or a liquid. He set up an experiment to test his theory that asphalt is a solid. He put a glob of the asphalt in a funnel with a beaker attached to it. He put the experiment in a sealed box. Over time, 8 globs of asphalt were found in the beaker. This means asphalt is a liquid. It could not drop if it was a solid. A similar experiment has been going on in Australia since 1927. With advancements in technology, you are able to watch this experiment via webcam here.

Even as hard as asphalt is, the thought of it actually being a liquid is extraordinary. But, this is why you sometimes see rutting in asphalt paving on heavily traveled roadways. These are indents in roadways where tires meet the road. Due to the liquid nature of asphalt, it can be subjected to changes when heavy trucks sit on and travel on roadways. You can typically see rutting at busy intersections, especially during the hot summer months when asphalt is the most viscous and elastic. This thermoplastic capability is why asphalt is typically applied to roadways after the asphalt has been heated. 

Now that you know these fun facts about asphalt, you might have a better understanding about why this substance has become so popular over the years.

Visit a site like http://bitroads.com to learn more about asphalt and its role in roadway repair. 

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